A study of steroid-induced diabetes mellitus in leprosy.
Steroids, while still the most powerful drugs to manage leprosy reactions, predispose some patients to other morbidities such as diabetes, glaucoma, hypertension etc. A prospective cohort study was done in Kolkata, India among leprosy patients in reaction to determine the extent of steroid induced diabetes mellitus (SID). All leprosy patients with type 1 or type 2 reactions or neuritis admitted in 2006 to the Leprosy Mission Hospital in Kolkata, who had no past or current history and whose blood sugars on fasting were <126 mg/dl or postprandial <200 mg/dl were monitored fortnightly while on steroid therapy, estimating blood glucose by a glucometer using standard strips. Of 81 patients, 19 (23.5%) manifested steroid-induced diabetes mellitus. Compared to those who didn't, there were significantly more LL/BL patients with positive BI among SID whose cumulative prednisolone dosage was nearly 9000 mg as compared to half the amount among others. Steroid induced diabetes is a serious complication among leprosy patients treated with prednisolone for reactions requiring careful monitoring for detection and appropriate clinical management.